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Doula FAQs

Are you interested in learning more about Free Spirit Massage & Doula Services and the birthing process? Keep reading for more details and to check out my frequently asked questions to see if there is an answer to your question. If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, feel free to give me a call and I’ll be happy to answer any question you may have.

Does a doula replace a father/partner?

A doula doesn’t replace anyone. She is another member of the birth team and supports everyone in their own role. A doula’s presence helps fathers or partners participate at their own comfort level, showing them how and when to use various comfort techniques, providing information, and in some cases, looking after them as well. Partners are often grateful to be able to share the “coaching” responsibility with someone more experienced  and can therefore enjoy the birth experience more.

Is a doula the same thing as a Midwife or nurse?

No. A doula provides no medical or nursing care. Since she doesn’t have these responsibilities, or other patients to attend to, she can give her complete attention to being by your side for the entire length of labor providing support and unbiased evidence information.

Can a doula help even if I get an epidural?

Yes. A doula’s presence is helpful during early labor and during the epidural placement process. She then continues to care for the laboring person and their family, offering emotional and informational support. And when it’s time to deliver the baby, the doula’s assistance can be invaluable.

Can doula's attend c-section births?

Yes, someone having a C-section can still use a doula’s support. The doula may or may not be in the operating room, depending on the wishes of the family and the medical staff, but either way, the doula is still there for the new parent in the recovery room.

What are the benefits of a doula?

Labor doulas are statistically proven to improve outcomes:

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*

  • 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*

  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*

  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief

  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery

  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*

How long do families typically use in-home postpartum doula care?

Anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks is typical, though some families do as few as a couple of overnights while others utilize 12 months of full-time help.

I customize care to fit your needs as they change from week to week. Generally speaking, multiples usually need more hours of in-home care than families welcoming one baby.

How will I become self-sufficient as a parent if I am dependent on the help of a postpartum doula?

The first six weeks postpartum are the toughest and also the sweetest — you shouldn’t be worried about things like doing laundry or fixing meals. You were meant to be nurtured during this time and your time should be spent getting to know your baby. In the past, new parents were supported by moms, aunts, cousins and even neighbors. Today, however, families are often separated by great distances, so that in-home support is less available. Additionally, parents who work outside the home or own their own businesses need support that empowers their parenting decisions- having a professional in the home can help families navigate all of their unique challenges.
Though I am there to help for as long as needed, a postpartum doula’s greatest accomplishment is to work herself out of the job. My ultimate goal is to help you grow stronger and more confident.

My mother, sister, aunt (insert family member) will be around, can't they be my doula?

That's great that you will have family support after you have your baby. Not everyone is so lucky! More and more people work and it's difficult to take the time off. If you do have a family member with you the first few weeks, that's wonderful. Family members usually mean well, but sometimes they like to push their opinions on you. For example, you read that it's good to wear your baby often but some in-law or cousin is telling you that you'll spoil the baby if you don't let him/her sleep in their crib. This conflicting information can make the transition to parenthood even more confusing. Your family is emotionally invested in you and your baby. A doula will provide you with thoughtful support, however it will always be objective and evidence-based.

Doula: FAQ
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